Today the winter time starts in New Zealand. Same shit as at home – we now have an hour more – or just wake up very early. But today I am rested and I have some driving to do. Packing up all my stuff and waiting to get to check out at 8:30. Still have time to write some blog article.

Check out at 8:30 and then a 3 km drive to the Waitangi Treaty grounds north of Paihia. This is the place, where the Maori and the English signed the contracts that founded the nation. Of course the English were not only nice in what they did and wrote a different version of the treaty in Maori (who couldn’t understand English at that time). (Link to more information)

The museum
The museum

I start with a visit of the museum which I find very interesting. The whole history of the first explores to what happens today. I also join a guided tour at 10 which lasted about 45 minutes you got a lot of history input.

Maori canoes still in use
Maori canoes still in use

The tour finishes at the Carved Meeting House where we get a cultural experience of how the Maori with a performance of their rituals. Start of with the greeting and how to distinct between friend or foe. This was the serious part. No laughing, no noise. I have seen this online before, but live is something totally different.

Welcome ritual
Welcome ritual

After that we are invited into the house, have to take of the shoes and sit down. They presented different kinds of music, weapons and there use and conclude the performance with a Haka. I loved every minute of this experience.

Me with the Maori warriors and maiden
Me with the Maori warriors and maiden

And we can get photos with the artist (who all are Maori).

Now it is time for me to go. I have some driving to do today. A 200 km one way drive up to Cape Reinga. This is the place, where two oceans collide and it is said that the Maori spirits begin their final journey here. An uneventful drive up there. Passing the 90 mile beach and a lot of empty landscape. There is no mobile network up here. Totally different from Norway.

Me at Cape Reigna
Me at Cape Reinga

At the Cape I find a small parking place (quiet full here) and get the rest of a mobile signal to find out the virtual cache at the lighthouse. This is a beautiful walk with fantastic views and a lot of photo opportunities. The picture for the virtual cache is taken and the question will be answered as soon as I have mobile data again.

Cape Reinga and lighthouse
Cape Reinga and lighthouse

I was also told, the giant sand dunes are worth a look. So south of the Cape I turn right to the dunes. Parking in the parking lot and waling down to the base of the dunes. The dunes are very much a tourist attraction. You can borrow sand boards to surf down the dunes. They are big and impressive, but it is getting late and I don’t want to climb up big sandhills (which is a lot of work).

The sanddunes
The sand dunes

Driving all the way back to Kawakawa over the most winding road I have used in a long time. Unfortunately it is already getting dark and you can’t see a lot.

In Kawakawa I get some Chinese takeaway – which became a Chinese through away later… bad food – and following my GPS to the AirBnB I have booked. A small residential area close to the town center. Impossible to find the house in the darkness, but the owner waits for me on the street and shows me the flat. Bedroom, bath, living room/kitchen and a patio all for myself. Very basic standard, but all I need for the next two nights.

Again some inquiries about what I want to do tomorrow and then the bed with much better pillows than I have had in days is mine.

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